Best Rocker Bottom Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Rocker bottom shoes sound like something rock stars would wear while they perform on stage; something only rock groups would afford and walk around with. But that’s far from the truth. Actually; there’s more to it than it seems. The rocker bottoms have thicker soles than normal shoes. They also have an upward curve at the toes end of the shoes. And they have rounded heals. Making sure that the wearer doesn’t have any flat-footing along the foot.

Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

Rocker bottom shoes were made to compensate for the lack of movement within the feet; due to damage that had been done on said feet. They’re purposely built to reduce the pain from walking by making sure certain areas of the feet don’t move while walking. For example: People who have a stiff big toe or two; they wear rocker bottoms to replace the loss of flexibility in the metatarsal, the area between the toes and the ankle base.

Featured Recommendations

Dansko Professional
  • Dansko Professional
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • reinforced toe box
  • Price: See Here
Alegria Paloma
  • Alegria Paloma
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • comfort and support
  • Price: See Here
Ryka Relief Mary Jane
  • Ryka Relief Mary Jane
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Slip-on design
  • Price: See Here

People with ankle pain use them to limit the range of ankle movement. Most versions and styles of rocker bottoms were constructed so that the body weight of the wearer is shifted to the back of the ankle; meaning that the body must retrain itself in order to find their gravitational center and remain balanced.

 

10 Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

 

1. Dansko Professional

During the 1990's; a married couple of shoe-lovers, Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup, created a set of clogs from their tiny shop in Denmark. Word had spread about them and and Dansko company was born. Their iconic clogs, the Professional, is a hit for any woman who wants to feel comfortable in something that has really thick soles.
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The Comfort-Minded Clog
It features a reinforced toe box with a little extra room for extra protection. It also features polyurethane outsoles with the rocker bottom for much-needed shock-absorption.

Several Different Types Of Leather
The Dansko Professional comes in all different types of colors AND leather; patent leather, box leather, oiled leather, and many others. There are special ways to clean it if it gets dirty, but the work you put in will give you a pair of beautiful-looking clogs in return.

Cost And Value
No doubt about it. These stubborn mules will kick you hard in your wallet. There are sales that are going on with these types of shoes, but be prepared to shell out a lot for them.
Pros

Leather

Synthetic sole

Padded instep collar.

Wide heel strike for greater stability

PU outsole with rocker bottom

Breathable PU foam footbed

Hand-made shoes

Cons

No variation of size

Issues with build

Issues with weight

2. Alegria Paloma

Alegria Shoes (by PG Lite ®) utilizes around 20 years of comfort footwear experience to bring you one of their better results; the Paloma women's "Mary Jane" clogs. This company wants to make sure your feet know what happiness feels like.
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Anatomically Correct Footbed
Alegria's secret is it's removeable footbed; made of an enhanced memory foam that consists or cork and polyurethane. This helps to fit around the natural shape of your feet.

Several Different Colors & Patterns
The multitude of patterns on the Alegria's Paloma are just as different as you. Different types of buttons are added to finish off the adjustable hook and loop strap of the clogs.

Cost And Value.
These pair of clogs will kick the wallet harder than the last pair of clogs reviewed. There's a sale for them. But still be prepared to shell out a lot of cash.
Pros

Made of leather

Made in USA or imported

Slip-resistant mild rocker rubber outsoles

Hand-sewn

Cons

Issues with sizes

Difficulty "breaking them in"

3. Propét Life Walker

Propét USA started in 1985 with a mission to make shoes for hard-to-fit feet. They even went out of their way to create shoes for diabetics. (The A5500 icon found on their shoes mean that they're Medicare-approved.) The Life Walker Strap Sneaker proves to be more than just another velcro-strapped sneaker.
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Heel Support
These shoes have internal and extended heel counters, as well as built-in contoured heel stabilizers and durable arch support.

Removable Insoles
The orthopedic cushions can be removed from the shoes if too much odor and sweat had been collected on them. Or they can be replaced with something better.

Cost And Value
The Life Walkers are pretty expensive; just as hard a kick to your wallet as the clogs. But there are sales going on. Hopefully the Medicare approval will lower the price.
Pros

Leather upper

Rubber outsole

Lightweight EVA midsole

Medicare-approved

Cons

Lack of variety for colors

Issue with parts falling apart

4. Clarks Wave Trek

4. Clarks Wave Trek
In 1825, Cyrus and James Clark of Somerset, England, had made slippers out of sheepskin off-cuts. Today the name still rolls of the tongue; whether it's about their famed Desert Boots, or any style of shoes made by the company. Here's their current offer; the women's Wave Trek Sneaker.
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OrthoLite Footbed
Clarks' latest technology for their inner-soles features long-term feet cushioning, breathability, and sweat-removing moisture management. It's removable as well.

Waterproof
These sneakers are crafted of rich, weather-ready full grain leather. Meaning that a little rain won't stop you from going for your outdoor calorie burn.

Cost & Value
It seems like Clarks had moved on to better sneakers. But there are online shops that still sell these type of sneakers. Expensive sneakers, mind you... But they are on sale.
Pros

Rubber rocker sole

Leather uppers

A variety of colors

Light & comfortable shoes

Cons

Lack of "wide" sizes

Hard to "break them in"

5. Skechers Metabolize

5. Skechers Metabolize
Starting off with creating utility style boots and skate shoes in 1992; Skechers USA Incorporated, based in Manhattan Beach, California, became the #2 company in the world when it came to athletic and performance footwear.
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Kinetic Wedge
This super-soft foam midsole is specifically designed to make sure you avoid suffering from flat-footed-ness on any surface; a definite requirement from work-out shoes.

Rubber Sole
Helping to keep a grip on the ground; as always with rubber outsoles. And the rocker bottom front ends, meanwhile, help the shoes to stabilize the feet.

Cost And Value
The Skechers Women's Shape Ups Metabolize Fitness Work Out Sneaker had been out since 2005, so the company's probably not making them anymore. There are still out there. In between being pricey and expensive, but they're also on sale. So get them while supplies last.
Pros

Leather / Synthetic

Fabric eyelets

Looped pulls

Padded collar

Cons

Very heavy shoe

Issues with durability

6. Alegria Debra

6. Alegria Debra
Alegria enters this top ten a second time with the Debra Professional Classic. These women's slip-on clogs have been designed for the long day on your feet with heavy consideration to your comfort and safety.
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Leather Covered insole
These specially designed insoles allow for your feet to naturally breathe, leaving them to feel fresh and dry as if the sweat was never there.

Several Different Colors & Patterns
The multitude of patterns on the Alegria's Debra are just as different as you. As of the typing, thirty six styles and colors are available for these clogs.

Cost And Value
They came out in 2009 but are still going strong. Despite being in the range between "pricey" and "expensive," it's not too difficult to purchase these nice pair of clogs.
Pros

Leather uppers

Synthetic outsoles

Rocker bottoms

Contrast stitching

Foam footbed

Elastic goring as sides of clogs

Cons

Issues with prints coming off

Issues with build

Difficult-to-find US sizes

7. Skechers 2.0 Comfort Stride

7. Skechers 2.0 Comfort Stride
Skechers Shape Ups also hits the top ten the second time. As a matter of fact, most of the popular, high-rated rocker bottom shoes are Skechers. This version is the 2.0 Comfort Stride Fashion Sneaker, continuing the goal of giving comfort to athletics.
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Air Cooled Breathability
The stabilized breathable mesh panels with the fabric underlay give your feet enough breathing room to relax after long hours of running.

Trubuck Leather
The smooth soft faux leather and mesh fabric upper help to remove the issues a person would have with real leather. But it works just as well and is just as durable.

Cost And Value
The Shape Ups 2.0 Comfort Stride Fashion Sneakers has been around for about three years and it's pretty recent. Meaning that it's also gonna be pretty expensive. So prepare to save up.
Pros

Stitching accents

Toe, side, and (contrast) heel overlays

Padded collar and tongue

Memory foam in insoles

Firm polyurethane frame

Kinetic Wedge soft foam midsoles

Sculpted rubber rocker bottom outsoles

Cons

Issues with build

No wide sizes

8. Clarks Wave Run

8. Clarks Wave Run
Clarks, "Destined of the Desert Boots," is the third to attack the top ten twice. Their "second wave" is the Women's Wave Run Slip-On Loafers. "Consistency" and "perseverance" should be something people can salute to when it comes to shoes.
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Wave Walk Technology
The Wave Run features the uniquely curved outsoles that help to roll your feet smoothly off the ground. The rolling motion reduces each step's the impact and uses the natural momentum of your body to move you forward.

OrthoLite® Footbed
These removable footbeds include EVA heel supports; removing more fatigue and adding more comfort and stability every time you take a step.

Cost And Value
While even Clarks are moving on to better and more scientifically made footwear, the Wave Run series is still around. And for good reason since it's still being sold. Not as pricey as the other shoes being reviewed here, but just as comfortable and nice-looking.
Pros

Leather

Rocker Bottom

Absorbs shock

Cushions the joints

Cons

Issues with sizes being wrong

Elastic tighter than expected

9. Ryka Relief Mary Jane

9. Ryka Relief Mary Jane
Ryka, operating under the global footwear brand of Caleres, is a footwear company that's by and for women. It develops footwear that helps women walk, run, and perform better. One of their most recent creations (from 2015) is the Relief Mary Jane Toning Walking Shoe.
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Mary Jane Velcro Strap Closure
Looped around the top of your ankles, this helps keep the shoes on the feet and help you take them off or put them on without any hassle.

Quality Synthetic Upper
Because not anyone can afford leather. The Ryka Relief utilizes material that can work just as well in a price the rest of the world can afford.

Cost And Value
Ryka seems to have discontinued this shoe style. So now is a perfect time as any to buy this pair of still popular walking shoes. Prices are down, so hurry while supplies last.
Pros

Rocker bottoms

Synthetic man-made sole

Extremely comfortable

Cons

Issues with build

Too heavy

10. Alegria Caiti

10. Alegria Caiti
Rounding out the top ten is the return of Alegria; asking shoe lovers to treat themselves to beauty and comfort with the Caiti boots. They come in many different styles to match your wardrobe or mood.
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Removable Footbeds
Removable and replaceable insoles that are constructed of cork, memory foam and latex to create the perfect fit by forming to the natural contours of your feet.

Buckle And Side Velcro Closure
Need boots you can get out of in a jiffy? The buckle and side velcro closure makes getting in and out of them an audible snap of the fingers.

Cost And Value
They look beautiful, so of course they're not gonna be affordable. There are sales going on for them, but you need to save up if you really want to get a fresh new pair of them.
Pros

Leather

Synthetic soles

Rocker Bottoms

Cons

Issues with build

Size may not be available

Rocker bottoms can be found in many types of shoes; rocker sole shoes, round / rounded sole shoes, toning shoes, mules, and clogs. They also have a set of varieties; toe-only rockers, mild rockers, double rockers, heel-to-toe rockers, rocker bars, and negative heel rockers. this review of the “then best rocker bottoms” will also include mules and clogs because of the same thick-soled build. No matter the shoe type, all rocker bottoms here are ideal for those looking.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

 

Thickness of soles

It’s stated that the thickness of the soles should be more than the regular shoe’s thickness of the soles; somewhere around 30 millimeters. This is for the (mostly) replaceable inner-sole cushions, as well as the overall effort to absorb the shock from walking and ease the pain caused by said shock.

Durability

The soles are made of rubber (except when noted by the manufacturer). The rubber is great for keeping a sturdy grip on the ground when you’re walking or running. The rest of the shoes are either made of leather or some other synthetic material.

Placement of upward curves at bottom on the shoes

The curve is usually at the front of the shoes, the toes’ end. Sometimes there’s a curve on the back of the shoes, the heels’ end. When that happens, it creates a “rocking chair” build; hence the name “rocker bottoms.”

Extra insole cushioning

Extra cushioning had been added to the insoles in order to remove the feeling of flatness on your feet. On some rocker bottoms, they’re removable. They can even remove the built-up sweat from your feet.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When did this start?

In the 1990s, Karl Muller (a Swiss engineer) went to Africa and noticed that the Masai tribesfolk walked barefoot on dirt and sand. They rarely suffered any injuries to their backs and joints. He left the continent and decided to create footwear based on the Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT).

They (were sold in the US, mainly at Scheels, and) didn’t sell well at first. But Skechers took that ball and perfected that play via their “Shape Ups.”

Q: Do rocker bottoms and thicker soles really help?

As said before; rocker bottoms are relatively new. So there isn’t any full-blown research (yet) to say that rocker bottoms and thicker soles have don’t any real or permanent good. It would also be foolish to think that this is a magic bullet or cure-all for whatever you suffer from.

People who wear rocker bottoms and thicker soles have noted how different it is from wearing flat-sole shoes. Pain from using the middle of the feet or the ankles had been reduced. And the muscles and joints, that hadn’t been used before, are now being used as the body would have to adapt to walking in shoes that don’t have flat soles. So more work needs to be done from the core of the legs and the gluteus in order to maintain balance.

A few studies have found that rocker bottoms won’t help anybody with lower back pain walk better. In fact, it’s been said that flat soles are better since pain in the lower back is caused more from walking and standing.

And yet there are reviewers for rocker bottom shoes that speak of the relief from pain caused by plantar fasciitis, bunions, arthritis, and any other disorder or injury.

Q: Where to buy rocker bottom shoes?

Most specialty shoe stores will have them in some shape or form. Other shoe makers will happily sell them to you online from their websites. Or you can buy the less-expensive rocker bottom shoes from big box stores.

Sources

  1. ryka, technology,
  2. clarksusa, about-clarks/technologies,
  3. alegriashoes, about-us,
  4. journals.plos, journal.pone,
  5. footankle, rocker-bottom-sole-shoes,
  6. rapidcityjournal, lifestyles/article,